7 Types of Tools That Every Competitive Business Should Have
In the digital age, when every piece of information is at our fingertips, running a business only grows in complexity.
Although automation and artificial intelligence take some off the shoulder of an entrepreneur, they cannot — at least for now — completely replace the human element. Moreover, breakthrough inventions often introduce new problems that require unique solutions.
Many business owners turn their attention to various tools to address this issue. For instance, a marketer might seek to improve their e-commerce monitoring with sophisticated marketing software. Similarly, a CEO may take advantage of a workplace management dashboard.
Among all the tools available on the market, we can singularize a few beneficial types that make organizations successful.
Here is a list of tools you should consider integrating to keep your business competitive:
Task Management Tools
Managing your company’s resources can be a headache. Not only do you have to get the best out of your team, but you also have to ensure that you correctly identify which tasks to prioritize and which to de-emphasize.
Fortunately, task management software can help you with these and other related responsibilities. It may save you hours you would have to spend grouping things together and handing out assignments.
For example, many task management tools allow you to set reminders. It is a valuable feature, as a business owner’s life can get pretty hectic. With a reminder in place, you will never forget to pass on an important task or schedule a team meeting.
Additionally, most task management tools send notifications to keep you updated about recent developments. This way, you stay in complete control of your business without having to spend as much time as before on fine-tuning its operations.
Lastly, the newest tools in this niche are easily integrated with third-party apps like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. It makes them fantastic solutions to help you fulfill your management duties while improving workflow.
As noted by Forbes, modern-age hackers are no longer lone wolves who act independently. Instead, they form massive networks of illicit players ready to pounce on unsuspecting organizations.
Consequently, businesses are increasingly incentivized to protect against malicious agents who are after valuable data. One solution that proves effective is installing antivirus software on all operating systems — both within and outside of the company’s premises.
Reliable antivirus protection might be the difference between saving your business from hidden malware and losing all your banking data to a man-in-the-middle attack.
Nowadays, antivirus manufacturers go above and beyond to provide more than just standard features like ransomware protection. A built-in password manager, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) are only a few examples of extras you can find wrapped in one antivirus package. There are numerous simple-to-use options available online if you’re looking for the best VPN or HIPS for your business.
Regardless of which antivirus you choose, boosting your cybersecurity is a must. Without sufficient protection from cyberattacks, you run the risk of losing your data and intellectual property with little to zero chance of getting them back.
Communication is the irremovable foundation of business. Even though many people claim that money is the universal language we can all understand, having a well-established network for external and internal communication is crucial.
Whether you usually conduct your operations in remote or in-person settings, team messaging apps can help you avoid misunderstandings and achieve previously established goals. They allow you to send company updates almost instantly, delivering them in an easily-digestible form.
Furthermore, most messaging tools offer so many additional features that they work more like giant collaboration hubs rather than simple text messaging platforms. They let you pick and choose from numerous useful options, ranging from instant messaging and file sharing to private forums, video calls, and screen sharing.
The recent switch to the remote work model only bolstered the need for messaging tools. It proves how valuable it is to have a reliable business messaging system in place.
Messaging tools encourage brevity, give you a fast and reliable way to send and receive feedback, and allow for persistent, ongoing conversations. All of these things are worth their weight in gold and may help you change your business for the better.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Relationships with customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, the company would be left stranded — entirely devoid of meaning. That is why it is essential to nurture your customer relationships and keep track of relevant interactions.
Many firms invest in customer relationship software to achieve this. It is a tool designed to help organizations build better relationships with their customers.
First, the software allows for an exhaustive analysis of the target audience. It involves collecting customer data and evaluating the history of customer interactions. Thanks to it, businesses can uncover the needs of their customers and provide them with better services.
In addition, CRM software can help companies expand their field of expertise or customer base. It makes collecting and analyzing data a breeze, removing silos in customer information by gathering them in a central place.
CRM software gives a 360° view of the client, providing the foundation for improved customer relationships. Ultimately, it drives sales and revenue and gives the business a competitive advantage.
Tracking the time employees spend on various tasks has become a norm in countless industries. It allows for better management of resources (both human and non-human) and helps organizations stay profitable.
It opens new doors for managers who can now stop wasting time and potential. Time-tracking tools increase their ability to coordinate and stay on top of timelines.
Nevertheless, the primary benefit of time-tracking tools is their impact on employee productivity.
Employees who know they are being watched work harder. This boost in productivity, creativity, and motivation is invaluable.
With their sleekly-designed user interfaces, robust reporting features, and the possibility to edit time blocks, the best time-tracking apps have a lot to offer. They are also incredibly flexible, ranging from simple timers to complex employee monitoring tools.
Whether you run a large corporation or small family business, an automated time tracking system can help you break out your day into little tasks and track each one diligently. Doing so will keep you on the right track and prevent you from wasting your resources.
Managing finances is a determining factor of a company’s success — which is precisely what accounting software can help you with.
Creating online accounting platforms was a significant stepping stone to streamlining most of the work that an accountant or bookkeeper would do. It allowed firms to reduce their financial workload, propelling them into the new age of managing their funds.
Nowadays, you can find dozens of accounting software applications on the market. They can help you keep track of your income and expenses by recording and reporting all of your business’s financial transactions.
Core modules of accounting software include:
- Expense claims,
- Purchase reconciliation,
- Debt collection,
- Generating the documentation required for tax returns.
If you need some help with billing and bookkeeping, investing in reliable accounting software is the way to go. Search for comprehensive, customizable, real-time financial reporting software, and you will not regret your decision!
Having your data backed up protects you from losing expensive resources due to a system failure or a cyberattack. It is a wise thing to do, primarily if you conduct most of your business online.
Backup software will create copies of the information on your computer hard drive and save them somewhere safe. It can be a flash drive, another disc, a network drive, or cloud storage. You can then fall back on these copies if you lose access to data stored on your computer.
The best backup programs come with advanced scheduling, disk, and partition cloning, incremental backup, and other useful functions. Investing in one of them is a straightforward way to prepare yourself for the worst possible scenario.
Ransomware, hard drive failure, and natural disasters can instantly destroy months of hard work. Getting top-rated backup software will ensure that your business keeps on running through all the potential trials and tribulations life may throw your way.
The Bottom Line
Seeing your company thrive requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Luckily, you do not have to rely on your skills alone to make it happen. The tools mentioned above can help you propel your business into stardom.
Antivirus software can protect your valuable data from malicious actions and hackers, while messaging tools may improve communication with your clients and within the organization itself. At the same time, accounting software might solve your financial problems, and task management tools could provide you with the necessary support to improve your productivity and effectiveness.
Determine your company’s weak points and pick the tools that will give your the best shot at turning them into your strong suits. This way, you can accelerate your business’s growth.